Aikido comprises an almost endless continuum of techniques that typically restrain or throw an attacker. The techniques use the attacker’s energy and take his or her structure, whether unarmed or armed. They enable handling bigger, stronger, and faster opponents. This martial art is primarily defensive in nature, and the defense does not need to be aggressive. Our curriculum includes practice against multiple attackers, and with one person holding a bokken (wooden sword), jo (staff), or tanto (wooden dagger).
Bokkendo and Jodo
Bokkendo is the art practiced with a wooden sword. Jodo is the art of the four foot, wooden staff, which was originally developed to contend with a swordsman. The movements and katas (pre-arranged series of movements) that are taught have been derived by Imaizumi Sensei from established weapons arts and from the direct teaching of the founder of Aikido. Our weapons curriculum represents a unique blend of various classical training styles crafted to complement aikido training and should not be confused with direct training in any one of those source arts. Martial arts in Japan were derived from fighting arts in an era in which most opponents were armed, with the sword being one of the primary weapons. Learning how to use these weapons helps the student to understand the nature of Aikido and the movements in Aikido. It also heightens the sense of timing and spatial awareness between two people, which leads to the better execution of unarmed techniques.
Internal Power Training
Aikido is both an internal and external martial art. In training the internal side, we work with internal-power principles that underlie Aikido and which are necessary to produce aiki, and therefore effortless, techniques. We use principles taught by O-Sensei, the founder of Aikido, and we host Sangen seminars, taught by Dan Harden, to practice this.
Genkido is a set of exercises used to teach Ki development and basic elements of the movements of Aikido techniques. Genkido’s skill sets are traditionally practiced to help a person recognize and strengthen his or her own Ki, and its exercises involve gentle, flowing movement and emphasize balance to integrate mind and body for a healthful workout. The skill sets include learning how to hold ourselves and move in a manner that is centered, focused, and energized without unnecessary muscle tensions. Our Genkido training supplements our practice of internal power principles and Aikdo technical elements.